|Mike Petraglia and Chris Price break down the Patriots playoff win over the Texans||01.13.13 at 10:06 pm ET|
FOXBORO — WEEI.com Patriots reporters Mike Petraglia and Chris Price break down the Patriots’ 41-28 win over the Texans in Sunday’s AFC divisional game at Gillette Stadium.
|Mike Petraglia breaks down the Patriots Thanksgiving Day massacre of the Jets||11.23.12 at 1:03 am ET|
EAST RUTHERFORD — WEEI.com writer Mike Petraglia breaks down the 21-point scoring binge in 52 seconds that sparked the Patriots’ 49-19 rout of the Jets on Thanksgiving night at MetLife Stadium.
|Chris Price and Mike Petraglia have the Quick Hits from Patriots rout of the Colts||11.18.12 at 9:36 pm ET|
FOXBORO — WEEI.com writers Mike Petraglia and Chris Price break down the Patriots’ 59-24 rout of Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts Sunday afternoon at Gillette Stadium. Julian Edelman returned a punt for a touchdown caught another pass for a touchdown and Rob Gronkowski caught two touchdown passes as the Patriots improved to 7-3 on the season. Next up, the New York Jets Thanksgiving night at MetLife Stadium.
After the game, it was reported by several outlets that Gronkowski suffered a broken forearm on New England’s eighth and final extra point of the day.
He was not available to reporters afterward and was taken for x-rays to confirm the initial diagnosis of a break.
|Patriots Quick Hits from Chris Price and Mike Petraglia after a win over the Bills||11.11.12 at 6:03 pm ET|
FOXBORO — Chris Price and Mike Petraglia break down the Patriots’ 37-31 win over the Bills Sunday at Gillette Stadium. The Patriots allowed a franchise record 35 first downs and 481 yards to the Bills and needed a Devin McCourty interception in the end zone to preserve the win that improved the team to 6-3, two games ahead of the Dolphins in the AFC East.
|Wright at home in New England||08.30.10 at 11:48 pm ET|
FOXBORO — When you watch Mike Wright work, you can see why Bill Belichick likes him on his team.
You can also see a lot of similarities with another Boston athlete – Kevin Youkilis.
Both are from Cincinnati. Both attended high school there and both stayed close to home when going off to college. Youkilis attended Sycamore High School while Wright at Purcell Marian, played football in the high school conference one on-line publication rated as the ‘best high school football conference in America’ last season.
Both came attended the University of Cincinnati, where each made a name for themselves as self-made athletes who had talent but even more work ethic.
Everyone in New England who has paid attention to the Red Sox knows how the hard weight training and conditioning work has paid off for Youkilis. Now, Patriots fans are getting the same vibe watching Wright. And so is his head coach.
Belichick has entrusted Wright with the responsibility of playing the middle and left end of the Patriots defensive line, trying to make the most of Wright’s power and quickness.
“He’s worked very hard,” Belichick said. “Mike is a very diligent offseason worker. He’s one of those guys who’s always in pretty good shape. He trains hard. He works hard. He’s tough. We’ve asked him to do a lot. He’s played in the kicking game. He’s covered kicks for us and things like that. He’s played on third down. He’s played nose. He’s played end. He’s played inside and outside on a four man line.”
Listed at 6-foot-4, Wright still has a wrestler’s build. His strong, broad shoulders make him a beast to contain. He’s hard to get a hold of, and has shown the ability to routinely shed a block and get to the quarterback when given the chance. Before last season, Richard Seymour was dealt to Oakland so Wright saw more snaps on third down as an extra body that could pressure the QB from the inside and help stop the run.
“He’s a very versatile player, athletic enough to do some of the more skilled things,” Belichick said. “Powerful enough to stand up against big guys or more than one guy, double teams, things like that. He’s got a good set of skills. He’s worked hard. He’s very conscientious. He really wants to do the right thing. He takes the extra time to learn and get it right. He’s really, from where he’s started, he’s really had a good career to this point.
“And he continues to work hard and build on it. Every year, he becomes more dependable, more versatile, a guy who has more experience, and uses it. Some guys gain experience and it doesn’t really seem to help. He’s a guy that gains experience and doesn’t repeat a lot of mistakes from previous years or situations.”
This summer, Ty Warren was lost for the season after being placed on the injured reserve list with a hip injury.
With the Patriots looking for replacements for names like Seymour and Warren alongside Vince Wilfork, Wright has had the door of opportunity swung wide open. Belichick was asked what he thinks of having a defensive lineman who is shorter and quicker play alongside Wilfork on the defensive front.
Belichick, as always, added the appropriate perspective on the 6-foot-4, 285-pound Wright.
“Well, there are a lot of guys who are smaller than Vince,” Belichick quipped. “He’s not a small guy now. He’s an explosive player. He’s strong and he’s explosive. His weight room numbers and his test numbers are competitive with probably most our linemen, but I’d say probably most good linemen in the league.”
Not bad considering Wright was signed by the Patriots after going undrafted in the 2005 NFL Draft. He made the Patriots’ roster out of training camp and played in 13 games in his 2005 rookie season. He was placed on injured reserve in January, 2007, and missed two playoff games that year. In the second week of the 2006 season, Wright made his first career start, and made four overall starts on the year. He led the team once in tackles and twice in special teams tackles in 2006.
Wright played in nine games in 2007 before being placed on injured reserve in December. He returned in 2008 to play in all 16 games, starting two. He finished the season with a then career-high 2.5 sacks and 33 tackles. Wright took his resume to the free market, hoping to land a full-time gig but no offer was forthcoming. So, he gladly re-signed with the Patriots, agreeing on a four-year contract in March 2009.
Last year, Wright played in all 16 games for the Patriots, starting nine. He finished the season with 35 tackles and five sacks.
|Crash course in store for Pats||08.27.10 at 1:11 pm ET|
FOXBORO — Just be glad you don’t have to sit in front of a TV screen, high def or not, and watch a replay of Thursday night’s defensive meltdown at Gillette.
Those responsible are not so lucky as the Patriots players will have the words, discipline, responsibility, awareness, toughness and reaction drilled into their heads by every single member of the coaching staff.
One of the new leaders of the defense is Jerod Mayo. The third-year linebacker said it after the game and said it again to Dennis and Callahan on Friday morning. The Patriots played “dumb football” on defense. Bill Belichick will have no problem making Mayo look smart with that statement.
“Play smarter football,” Mayo said after the 36-35 loss in which the Patriots D couldn’t get off the field, allowing the Rams – the Rams – to convert 11-of-17 third-down chances. “Do business as business is being done, and go out there and try to make plays and try to get off the field.”
Three roughing-the-passer penalties and countless mental errors kept the defensive unit on the field way too long.
“We just couldn’t get off the field,” Mayo said “Penalties killed us. We have to fix it.”
Mayo said the defensive unit, though, is confident they can fix things in time for the opener in just over two weeks.
“It doesn’t shake us at all,” Mayo said. “We’ll watch the film and make the adjustments and things like that. First two games, we played pretty well as a first unit. We just have to get better.”
At least they’re aware of it. Now, with only the Giants in the preseason finale standing between them and the newfangled Bengals with Terrell Owens, Jermaine Gresham and Jordan Shipley staring them in the face on opening day at Gillette on Sept. 12, the Patriots would be well-advised to start making big adjustments.
“It’s definitely disappointing,” added projected starting right corner Leigh Bodden. “Looking at the film, we thought we could do some good things on defense but unfortunately we didn’t do what we planned and we just have to look at the film, get better from it, and move on to next week.”
Yes, the positive is that Bill Belichick and company have plenty of teaching points. But there’s a fine line between providing a teaching point or two and coming up with an entirely new syllabus to help students in a crash course. The latter is what’s facing Belichick and his staff right now after watching the 2-14 Rams of 2009 hold the ball for over 46 minutes and 84 plays to New England’s 38 plays in 16 minutes of possession.
“It’s going to be rough,” safety James Sanders said. “But we need to go in there and keep an open mind and make the corrections that we need to make and go forward from there.”
“Very disappointing Anytime you have an offense that’s moving up the field at will, it’s demoralizing. It’s disappointing as a unit that takes pride in stopping teams the way we do out there. So we need to go back and figure out what the reason was for that and do better as a defensive unit.”
As Belichick acknowledged after the game to everyone panicking about the future of Laurence Maroney in New England, it’s hard to prove anything when “you don’t have the ball.”
“You get a real feel for your team but it’s just one game and we made some mistakes and we have to correct it,” Bodden said. “It’s just one game, like I said. This is a game that you do want to go out and show what you have but unfortunately we have to go back to the drawing board and work on it so we can get better for next week.”
Darius Butler is in a battle with Devin McCourty for the left cornerback position. Both second-year Butler and rookie McCourty were picked on by Sam Bradford on Thursday as the No. 1 over pick threw a paid of touchdown.
“I know we’ve got to get better,” Buter said. “I know I’ve got to get better personally. Got to make better plays out there. That’s what we’ve got to do.”
As for Bradford, Butler said fans and the Patriots themselves should not have been surprised.
“Not really,” Butler said in denying any sense of surprise at Bradford’s numbers. “I mean he’s the number one pick,” Butler said. “He’s a good quarterback.”
Another excuse that those looking for a silver lining on Thursday will point to is the time-honored NFL preseason theory that the defense Belichick threw at the Rams and Bradford was very basic or vanilla in football terms. Give Butler credit for this much, he wasn’t using that as an excuse.
“I wouldn’t say that,” Butler said. “They just came out and made plays and we didn’t in certain situations. I didn’t in certain situations, so I’ve got to get better on that.”
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